After the disastrous events of last year's Electric Zoo, when two attendees died of overdoses and the city shut down the festival before its final day, there was relief all around in the medical tents as Saturday drew to a close with only routine mishaps and cases of exhaustion to deal
Was it because of the "drugs are for losers" PSA that all attendees were forced to watch before they could get their wristband validated? Or the security checkpoints and bag searches at the entrances, which were rigorous enough to put the TSA to shame? Maybe it was those "Drug Amnesty Bins" in which you could throw away your narcotics before entering the grounds, no questions asked (ha ha ha) just kidding about that one.
Or was it the Zoo Keepers, those 50 or so roving health monitors who spent the entire day reminding everyone to hydrate—at the free, high-speed water refill stations, which also handed out with free electrolyte mix-ins—waking people from "naps", and just generally having your back if you needed some help? Or maybe people are making smarter choices, after a summer that's seen several high-profile ODs at similar festivals in Maryland and Canada? Whatever. So far, it's working.
Not that there weren't plenty of folks rolling, tripping, speeding, smoking, or just plain old fashioned getting drunk at EZoo on Saturday. This is EDM, after all, for which you're expected to go nuts and jump jump jump around even on the 492nd time you hear the beat drop.
And as one hard-core raver told me, there's definitely a bit of an amateur-hour thing going on at big festivals such as this one, drug-experimentation-wise. But really, the vast majority of under the influence behavior I saw during my five hours on Randall's Island yesterday involved surly drunken bros, a phenomenon by no means limited to spectacles such as EZoo.
As far as the non-drug aspects of Electric Zoo 2014, if you're going today you can expect six different stages, both indoor and out, with all kinds of light shows and pyrotechnics. There are plenty of beer, wine, and "champagne" tents—lines never got too long while I was there yesterday--and a solid line-up of food vendors, such as Roberta's, Handsome Hanks, and Sunday Gravy. The prices for food and drink are all surprisingly un-gouged too, though you really get hit by the EZoo electronic payment system, which forces you to load up your wristband with "EZ Bucks" before you can buy anything, and instantly pockets a shameless $1 out of every $10 you give them for the privilege.
And, unfortunately, you can also expect much warmer and more humid weather today than it's been for EZoo's first two days. So stay hydrated out there, people!